ANN MATLOCK:
ABOUT THE PROCESS

Yarn
All of the weavings in this exhibition were made from silk yarns that I dyed especially for the piece to be woven. I use only the most light-fast, fiber-reactive dyes for this work. Some of the yarns are hand spun, while the others, usually finer, are commercially spun and vary in color and texture, even before they are dyed.

Warp
Most of the warp yarns threaded on the loom are colored in some way before the weaving begins. Some warps combine a variety of dyed shades, others are dyed in a wash of color, and many of the more recent warps are printed with photo silk screen or block printing, using silk dyes.

Weaving Process
The woven structure begins with traditional tapestry interlocking wefts to provide the fabric structure and add color and design. After each row of tapestry, a row of brocade is woven, using many different bobbins of color. The brocade weaves add the slightly three-dimensional quality that is visible in the finished work. Thus, unlike drawing or painting, a weaving progresses, row on row, in time. It combines the flow of color of other art forms with the architecture of textiles – the image is not on the cloth, but in it.

The weavings in this exhibition represent several years of work. Although I enjoy making larger pieces, these tapestries are exploratory and experimental. They were therefore done in a more intimate scale. The subject matter reflects an interest in the landscape and plant forms from the southwest, and in textile history and processes. In some works, the forms are derived from watercolors and photographs that I made directly from the landscape. Others are inspired by the exuberance of plant forms as expressed in printed textiles. In all my work, I am interested in conveying a feeling that the weaving that is presented is just a fragment of something larger, not a picture contained by its edges.